4th November 2016
By Josie Mills
Elementary Design, the creation of carpenter Justin Holmes, is primarily a maker of hand-crafted luxury screwdrivers. The screwdriver sets designed by Justin are handmade reproductions of two originals Justin created for himself when, as a cabinet maker, he was unable to find a set of screwdrivers which met his requirements for comfort, quality and simplicity.
Justin has a fascination with beautiful materials that age elegantly, such as wood, which he uses in his own designs to make his luxury products of the highest quality. What is unique about Elementary Design’s screwdrivers is that they are all drilled by hand and sawn by Justin with the help of Mystique in their railway arch workshop in the UK. Elementary Design’s screwdrivers, therefore, are the perfect gift for a man or woman who loves the look and feel of a hand-made item.
With an education in engineering and design, Justin has made several woodworking tools including saws, mallets and planes that he uses for his own making. Originally designed as a one off and not with the intent to produce a marketable product, the screwdrivers are a one of a kind design, made straight from an experienced carpenter.
These skills are evident in the sheer quality of this much-admired tool. The screwdrivers are glued and dipped in linseed oil and stored in two large drying cabinets until ready for packaging. The larger handles with the brass ferrules still come from Elementary Design’s original supplier in Sheffield, whilst the smaller round handles from solid beech wood balls are sourced from a supplier in Germany. Created with the highest quality of wood and crafted in the UK by Justin and Mystique, Elementary Design’s screwdrivers are truly luxury creations.
Justin developed his business in the mid-nineties, his initial interest being furniture commissions. It was only after a year working in China and manufacturing Childrens’ highchairs that Justin decided to create his own company.
Making objects with a function and bettering them has always been Justin’s inspiration and driving force. Consequently, tools, leather bags, and shoe making is also in Justin’s skill set.
Justin’s fascination with functional objects has trickled down to materials alike. Working with materials that age elegantly, primarily; wood, leather and metal, Justin is captivated by the way these materials can be repaired. Since 2006 he has developed his skills by restoring timber sash windows, using intricate traditional crafting techniques.
As for the future of Elementary Design, Justin is working on a new design for a screwdriver which will be innovative in holding all the components in the handle.